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Help! Stocking 180 gallon

Quinn Gehler

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I need help! I need ideas of fish to fill 180 gallon. Something colorful or really cool looking to accent the plants or have the plants be an accent to the fish but help!!! Any ideas welcome
 

essjay

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Before we can suggest fish we need to know your water parameters - that's pH, GH and KH. GH (hardness) is the most important of those; we don't want to suggest soft water fish if you have hard water, and vice versa.

If you don't already know your hardness, look on your water provider's website or phone/email them; or take a sample of tap water to an LFS and ask them to test it.
You need a number and the unit (as there are several they could use)
 
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Quinn Gehler

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I don’t have the tank set up yet but
I will cycle it with my other fish tanks filter media
I’m just looking for ideas in the process




Before we can suggest fish we need to know your water parameters - that's pH, GH and KH. GH (hardness) is the most important of those; we don't want to suggest soft water fish if you have hard water, and vice versa.

If you don't already know your hardness, look on your water provider's website or phone/email them; or take a sample of tap water to an LFS and ask them to test it.
You need a number and the unit (as there are several they could use)
 

essjay

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Even though the tank isn't set up yet, we still need the hardness of your tap water to make suggestions.
 

essjay

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Hard water fish will suffer in soft water; soft water fish will suffer in hard water. Without the hardness it is impossible to suggest fish. If the tank is not at your house, do you know the water supplier of the house where the tank is? If you do know it, do a search on the companies' website. For UK water companies, once you know which one all you need is the postcode to do a search.
 
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Quinn Gehler

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Hard water fish will suffer in soft water; soft water fish will suffer in hard water. Without the hardness it is impossible to suggest fish. If the tank is not at your house, do you know the water supplier of the house where the tank is? If you do know it, do a search on the companies' website. For UK water companies, once you know which one all you need is the postcode to do a search.

Ok so got it tested the lady said it was lower than usual but I could get water Hardener right? But now I know so hit me with fish ideas
 

essjay

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You don't have to make it harder, just get fish that need soft water. In other words, avoid livebearers, Rift Lake cichlids and most species of rainbowfish.

You posted this in the Oddballs forum - does this mean you want to avoid the usual types of fish such as tetras, barbs, gouramis, south American cichlids etc?
 

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Quinn Gehler, welcome to TFF. Reading this thread I think there may be some confusion so I will explain a bit further, all of which will agree with what essjay has beeen saying just so you know.

First, GH (general or total hardness) is the level of dissolved mineral in the source water, source water meaning your tap water that you will be using which is what most of us do. This is critical to fish, as some have a certain degree of tolerance but many have a very limited tolerance for GH outside their preferred range. And preferred range refers to the GH in which the fish will be healthy with no additional stress from inappropriate GH. Stress weakens the immune system, and brings on other issues and a shorter than normal lifespan. Freshwater fish have evolved to function in a very specific environment, and this includes the water parameters (GH, pH and temperature for our purposes).

We've no idea what "lower than usual" might mean, so we must have the number. The store should give you the number, and their unit of measurement (ppm, mg/l, degrees, etc), unless they are trying to hide something. It would be best to contact your municipal water authority for this data, perhaps on their website, or call them. Just make sure you get a number and the unit of measure they use.

Harding the water is going down a very involved road, and something you shouldnot even consider doing until you know the actual GH and pH, and then look at suitable fish. Every aquarium should have a regular (once each week) partial water change of at least half the tank volume, but a bit more is even better. Having to prepare special water in advance complicates things for you, and could mean death to the fish if an emergency occurred and you did not have water on hand.

Related to GH is the pH, and you can easily buy a test kit for pH. The GH will not generally alter in the aquarium [it would complicate this too much to explain how it might] but pH can vary and testing it regularly at least for the first few months is a good idea. It can indicate problems if it starts varying.

It really would be extremely irresponsible for any of us here to suggest possible fish species without knowing the GH and pH. Fish have a unique relationship to their aquatic environment, and they cannot just accept this or that if it is contrary to what they are designed by nature to need. :hi:
 

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